The 2018 NFL Draft provided a ton of excitement, and now that OTAs are revving up, let’s take a look at the 10 best picks from this year’s class! These picks are based on fit and talent. This draft was seen as one of the weaker ones for certain position groups, but a lot of teams had great drafts and made functional picks in the later rounds.
The 10 Best Picks Of The 2018 NFL Draft
There are so many things that make this pick awesome. Not only does the draft’s best story get his NFL shot, but he gets to do it next to his twin brother. After the Seahawks released Cliff Avril, Griffin will have a real shot to play outside linebacker/edge rusher like he did at UCF.
The Chargers are already rich in the secondary, but now they have the potential of being near Legion of Boom status. James adds a physical presence that can play in the box but is also able to cover. The Chargers defense is already excellent at getting to the quarterback, but now, their secondary is going to make the pass rush look even better. Look for the Chargers defense to have a meteoric rise like the Jaguars did in 2017.
Hughes is not only a great fit for Mike Zimmer’s defense, but he’s a steal when it comes to talent. Hughes was graded by most scouts with a mid first round grade, but he had a lot of character questions surrounding him. He has the potential and skill set to be remembered as the best corner in this class. He will be an immediate upgrade over Trae Waynes and will be an important piece playing across from Xavier Rhodes.
Sticking with the secondary, Oliver is a perfect fit for Dan Quinn’s defense. He’s a big, physical corner with long arms, and he’s excellent in man coverage. Oliver will see a lot of action across from Desmond Trufant and should make a name for himself fairly quickly in the league. He was graded as a first-round corner by a lot of scouts, but the run on quarterbacks helped push him deep into the second round. Oliver could be talked about as one of the steals of the draft in years to come.
The Packers have been exceptionally bad on defense over the past few years, especially in the secondary. After shedding Damarious Randall, the Packers have an excellent young trio at cornerback. Combining 2017’s second-round pick Kevin King with Alexander and Jackson could prove to be a fearsome combination for opposing quarterbacks for years to come.
This is an awesome pick for the Rams. They have a great inside presence with Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh, but they will still need edge rushers to capitalize on the one-on-one opportunities these guys can provide when they are double teamed. Okoronkwo was very productive in college, with 17 sacks and 29 tackles for loss over his last two seasons at Oklahoma. He’s recovering from foot surgery, but expect him to be an impact player as soon as he hits the field.
The Bears have been building an excellent defense over the last few seasons, and Smith is going to be a great addition to that. He has excellent speed and range in the middle of the field and has potential to be a triple-digit tackler. If Smith can have someone in front of him eat up blocks in the run game, he will be a huge impact player. The speed he brings to the Bears defense gives him the potential to lead the league in tackles.
The Giants are showing a commitment to Eli Manning, and the jury is still out on whether that’s a good or a bad thing. But that’s neither here nor there, taking Barkley second overall was a good move to take pressure off of Manning. Drafting Hernandez is also a great way to protect not only Manning but Barkley as well. Hernandez is the best pulling guard in this draft and will open up lanes for the Giant’s new running back.
Vea was one of the best defensive linemen in the draft. He thrived next to some good interior linemen in college, and now he gets to play next to one of the best in Gerald McCoy. Vea will be able to truly show his pass-rushing arsenal and will be an anchor against the run.
The Colts finally learned that they needed to do a better job protecting Andrew Luck, or Jacoby Brissett, or whoever else is playing quarterback. Gaining a little more talent at receiver would be nice, but this move was the right one. Picking Bradley Chubb would have been great, since he’s an immensely talented player, but this is the best move for the future of the organization. Andrew Luck needs to be healthy for this team to win, and Nelson will be a big part of that.